ninety-three           

 

epilogue

 

            Long 's I live I won' fo'gets dat day: de blood an' shock' looks lef' on ev'one's face, Mist'ess dead, Mistah Tune dead, Zach'ry stan'in' like a lone stick o' fu'n'ture in a house burnt down roun' 'im—an' me in labour. Come on strong af'er de beatin' bus' my water. Has to carry me off right quick, what I s'pose a kine o' blessin', seein' 's how it shif' fo'ks attention from aw dat death. 'Bout midnight I gives birth to a hale 'n' hearty boy. Name 'im Justin. Zach'ry choose dat name 'coun' it stan' fo' judge, an' him hope when Justin growed him treat fo'ks fair—fairer dan did his Daddy; Zach'ry hard on hisse'fmos'ly 'coun' o' Felicia, but also 'coun' de slaves don' take so good to freedom. Some lef'. Mos' stayed—aw too many o' dem not actin' de way dey should, drinkin' mos' de money Zach'ry pays 'em, duckin' de heavy wo'k. Zach'ry hire on mo'e, an' de new ones, dey do better. But times is unfo'givin', an' de White fo'ks 'roun' unfrien'ly. Mayhap us have to leave. Course Zach'ry stubbo'nan' him still contrary, 'cep' with me—so s'pose us stayin' on... dough livin' 'mongst so many en'mies none too easy. Randolph Bates be Zach'ry's one an' on'y frien'. Was him see to it fo'ks tol' a truth dey could accep'what mean de genuwine truth ain't yet been tol'...nor will be... 'lessen Mojo right. Li'l fellah nev' come back; it on'y de words him once spoke dolike de las' thing him predic'; what Zach'ry finely tol' me. Was Justin's birthday, (I's tryin' learn stick my tongue t'wixt my teeth to say things right) why I 'members it:

"A day gwon dawn...

was Mojo's words.

...when niggahs
White an' Black—
escape deir chains
"

I'd like to think dat happen. I say it sometimes, quiet-like—a day gwon dawn.

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